Monday, April 26, 2010

Wissembourg, France

Town square in Wissembourg.

I have many favorite places in the world. Wissembourg, which means "white castle", captured my heart years ago.  This historic little town is on the Northern most border of the Alsace region in France. We first cycled from our village in Clausen, Germany to this lovely spot. The Alsace region was fought over continuously for many years, changing hands back and forth from French to German control.  It's no wonder that in this region French and German can be used interchangably. I remember sitting in a cafe, as you do in Wissembourg and the surreal thought touched my mind, that I was sitting in FRANCE and communicating in GERMAN to our waitress.  She didn't speak English and my French leaves much to be desired but, because this town was on the border, we spoke German.
It was at that moment I realized, the key to communication in Europe is to "try" to speak another language.
Even if you do it poorly, Europeans appreciate you trying.

This is the very old  "Salt house" or "Maison de sel" in French. In 1677, a fire destroyed many of the older buildings in Wissembourg, but the "Salt house" built in 1448 was spared.  That makes this house about 562 years old by my count. They say it was the first hospital in the town. The wobbly looking roof has always interested me. I have often thought this house would make a great location for a fictional children's story.
Maybe I will write one someday!

  There are many 15th and 16th-century timber-frame houses to see as you stroll around this town.

This one houses a beauty salon with apartments over it.

This is the St.Peter and St. Pauls Catholic church.
This church was the main church from the former  Benedictine abbey located in Wissembourg.
I would have loved to have shown you some pictures of the inside which, you may tour, but there was a service in progress while we were in town.
You'll just have to visit Wissembourg for yourself!
It's romantic, quaint, old and the food and wine flow in this region.

Mac and I love Wissembourg. (spelled Wissenburg if you have a German map)
This place always gets two thumbs up.
Tomorrow I will take you to lunch in Wissembourg.

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